Saturday, January 24, 2015

Secondary Colorflower

I bought a lovely purple cauliflower to try with the girls. Here is a picture of it steamed, with butter and pink salt.
The girls and I were surprised by the color of the steaming water after it was done.
It tasted pretty much the same as a regular cauliflower to me. Just like the green one we tried a few years ago. Two girls loved it and one girl said, "I've had enough cauliflower this week" in a snooty teenaged way.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Monsters Express

The girls and I watched Polar Express and Monsters Vs. Aliens.
Polar Express was not a hit for any of us (except Pablo who has as his favorite actor of all time... Tom Hanks.) And this movie has a little too much Tom Hanks for any one movie to contain. And unnecessarily super creepy animation. And creepy story lines for NO reason. I'm looking at you, puppet scene. The 7-year old had trouble with this one. And the rest of us (except I can't speak for Pablo) never need to see this movie again. Too bad I bought it.
Monsters Vs. Aliens was pretty good. I liked having a female lead character, but she was surrounded by males. Let's see... 7 male main characters. And 1 female. Ahem. Anyway, it had some funny parts and was fine and fun for the 10 and 13 year olds. The 7 year old watched some of it. And left the room for parts that she thought were going to be too scary.

The winner by a landslide is Monsters Vs. Aliens.
The title of this post reminds me that Pablo and I watched (without kids) Snowpiercer. Well done, a little creepy, still thinking about the story and the ending. Chris Evans was hard to recognize (for me anyway). It's a depressing view of the future. So if you want something creepy choose this one over Polar Express. Unless you subscribe to the Tom Hanks fan club.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Poop Coloring 2: Experiment 1

I have written in the past about the difficult nature of finding poop in the autumn back yard full of mostly brown leaves. And this fall, I decided to finally do something about it. Coloring the poop seemed like a good approach and I could add something healthy to my dog's diet at the same time.

Beets are my coloring of choice for this experiment, since they are a healthy vegetable for dogs and people. I have a two pronged approach.

1. I steamed beets for the family for dinner. The water left over in the bottom of the pan was decidedly dark red. I gave that to Sunny to drink. He liked it.

2. I made a batch of beet kvass for him. Kvass is a traditional fermented Russian beverage. You make it by fermenting (or culturing) chopped up beets. I made two batches (with the same beets) and had the kvass (thick dark reddish purple liquid) and the beets leftover from the culturing process. Roxy really seemed to like eating several beet chunks a day. Sunny lapped up the liquid (about a cup a day) and ate some beet chunks every day for about a week.

In this picture, the first batch of beet kvass is on the right, the beet chunks after pouring off the liquid next, the beet chunks refilled with water to make the second batch, and the last picture is the kvass liquid from the first batch.

I have apparently misjudged the amount of beets it would take to alter Sunny's poop. No pictures have been included because, well, ewwwwww. And I didn't take any. Sunny's poop stayed decidedly brown with no hints of red. Roxy's as well. Experiment failed. From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

GMOs are scary...

The Boycott List Infographic
Who are the cunning corporations behind GMA's scheme to defeat GMO labeling? Find out here: "The Boycott List." Use the embed code to share it on your website or visit our website for the high-resolution version.
Who are the cunning corporations behind GMA's scheme to defeat GMO labeling? Find out here: "The Boycott List."

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Homemade Toothpaste

I found this recipe online and have been making my own toothpaste for about 6 months now.

Mix together in a bowl:
5 tsp calcium and magnesium powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp xylitol powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

Add in and mix well:
4-5 tsp coconut oil (if necessary, warm the oil until it is a liquid in a bowl placed in another bowl of warm water)

Mix 4-5 drops of peppermint oil into the mixture.

I store it in a small glass jar and use a spoon to scrape or scoop it out (depending on whether it is summer or winter temperatures in the house). In the winter it warms up right away in your mouth. You can add another teaspoon of xylitol if you want it to taste better/sweeter or want children to like it. So far I have just used either the cinnamon or the mint to flavor it.

It is nice to know that all the ingredients are good for me and my teeth.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Now A World

We saw these two flicks this weekend...
The Spectacular Now was surprisingly good. It avoided a lot of teen stereotypes and delivered a real story with good characters. It had layers, man.
In a World… was a likable movie. Some laughs, good people, okay story. Just nothing really stood out. I would have liked to have heard her doing more voices, imitations, dialects, something funny.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Island Way Back

Last weekend's movie lineup was interesting.
Cutthroat Island. Hmmm. Definitely big budget. But things just didn't come together. It wasn't horrible and had some things going for it. But the cheese factor was high and Geena Davis was… strange.
The Way Way Back was pretty good. I would have liked the ending to be a bit different. Tweaked a bit. But the acting was pretty good and the characters were woven into the story. This was a nice coming of age movie.

The Lone Rundown

This weekend we watched:
I am still trying to figure out how this one got on the queue and then how it got far enough up on the queue that we got it at home. Anyway, we watched it. It's a decent action movie. A few funny parts. Seann William Scott's character was a bit lackluster. I didn't really care what happened to him.
I took the Lone Ranger as a funny, entertaining movie. I didn't try to read into it or worry about what was realistic or believable. And it helps that even though I remember watching the tv show as a kid, I really don't remember much about it. They obviously made lots of changes, but that didn't bother me.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A. Warrior

Last weekend's movie lineup was better than most.
ACOD was okay. It never got really funny. But it had some good moments. I'm not crazy about the ending. Is that lazy writing? Am I supposed to pick what I want to have happened?
Warrior was much better than I would have guessed. The story, characters and actors were all well done. The fight scenes got a little brutal but were not over the top violent. (That's a compliment btw.) I actually really liked this one.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wolvomon Kine

This weekend's lineup was surprisingly good.
Solomon Kane surprised me. The story was much better than I expected it to be. It was a titsch violent for me, but not over the top. I hope if they make more of these that they stay of this quality.
The Wolverine. First off, I have to admit that I don't remember much of the last Wolverine movie (except for him screaming in pain in a big metal bathtub, idk what happens after that) or even the last X-Men movie that he was in. So taking this movie on its own as a stand alone, I found the story to be fairly cohesive. Lots of action, followed its story well, and some new characters (or just new to me) that were good. There were a few moments in the movie where the character motivations seemed unclear (or just completely out of character) but otherwise, it was an enjoyable Saturday night flick.
Watched Epic again with all 3 kids and they all loved it. The 6-year old made it through the whole movie and it wasn't too scary for her.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Epic Fe-elysium Year of Chi

Here's the last few weekends in one post:
Elysium seemed like it was going to be good. But it faded. And how were they going to make a lasting change in this dystopian future?
Touchy Feely was a bit too understated for me. It needed some oomph.
Man of Tai Chi was good for a kicking butt movie. I liked Tiger Chen and the story. Having to read subtitles was a bit of a distraction when I wanted to be watching the movie, but that certainly fits with the story. Keanu was keanu and it mostly worked for the bad dude.
I Give it a Year. It had all the good elements of a great romcom. I liked the actors and the characters. But all the lines of the best man should have been rewritten. To be funny. And why make Anna Faris look less pretty? But it did have a good ending.
Epic was the family movie one night. Too exciting for the 6-year old but the 9 and 12 year old loved it. I liked it, too. Animated movies aren't my favorite usually but this one had a good story and funny parts. And the animation was fun to watch.

Happy New Year!